By Pam Dewey • Mental Health • March 26, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has placed us in uncertain times. People are getting sick and facing job and financial losses. While many of us are worried about our physical health, taking care of our mental health is important too.
According to the Fraser Director of Mental Health Aric Jensen, “We know that mental health and physical health are tightly linked. When individuals are facing anxiety and fear, it’s important they reach out to others and get help if they need it.”
Limit your intake of news and only read trusted sources
Find a local news source you trust. Then pick a national or international source with accurate information like the CDC’s website or a well-respected newspaper. You should be aware of what’s going on with the coronavirus so that you can act appropriately. But you don’t need to know every single thing.
Get crafty and creative
Maybe you’ve been wanting to learn how to draw, try watercolors or write a novel. Resources like Great Courses Plus offer free drawing classes, or you could watch episodes of “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross. Art-making not only provides a great distraction; it also helps you express your feelings and emotions.
Connect with your friends and family
Send a text message, make a phone call or Skype with your loved ones. Reach out via email or even a good, old fashioned letter. Technology offers so many ways to connect, and now is the time to make use of it. Don’t forget to reach out to your friend or family member who lives alone. Connecting with them will be good for both of you.
Let’s get physical
The gym is closed, but there are still plenty of ways to move your body. We know exercising releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that boost your mood. You can go for a run outside, take the dog for a walk or go on a bike ride. Places like CorePower Yoga are offering free online yoga and meditation classes. There are a plethora of exercise videos on YouTube.
Find ways to laugh
Laughter can be a welcome catharsis. Maybe it’s time to rewatch all of “The Office” or one of your favorite movies. Or start trading funny memes and videos.
Good mental health supports good physical health, and we all need to take care of ourselves and each other the best we can. Remember to take a break, connect with people, get creative, stay active and take time to laugh.
If you start to feel overwhelmed by anxiety or depression, reach out to a mental health professional. To respond to changing needs, Fraser is offering many of our mental health services via telehealth.